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   Vol. 17 No. 58
Sunday September 9, 2018
Bulldog edition

Mark Albrecht

There are scores of people with highly-developed intelligence, strength, and ability in air cargo, but there is something unique about Mark Albrecht, United’s Director of Cargo International Operations, Logistics, Claims and Cost Oversight. Mark is living proof that some people can juggle several responsibilities and still perform each one at an advanced level.
     As his lengthy title at the Chicago-based carrier suggests, Mark’s directs several key functions for United Cargo. After speaking to him for just a few minutes, you realize his success is rooted in the innate ability to listen effectively and size up situations and people.

Be Sure You’re Right

     If that sounds like to you like pioneer American frontiersman Davy Crockett, whose motto was “Be sure you’re right and then go ahead,” you will get no argument from us.

Stands Up & Pays Attention

     Mark operates out of a neat window-walled office on the 17th floor at United’s Corporate Service Center in downtown Chicago.
     A look around the room leaves little doubt about the occupant’s primary focus each day, as Mark orchestrates his team’s efforts while standing in front of an oversized computer monitor.
     “The most effective tool to develop is the ability to sense things before they happen,” Mark declares, quickly revealing a basic truth.
     “The challenge for every air cargo organization is to be the first to act on the best ideas.
     “We hire smart people, point them toward a problem or task and let them do the rest,” he insists.
     “If you put the right people in the right place and encourage collaboration and creativity, they’ll figure out the best way to accelerate the team’s progress.”

Save The Freighters

     “For example, in the late 1990s I was brought into Cargo with the mission to ‘save the freighters,’” the 34-year United Airlines veteran says.
     “United was operating four converted DC-10s with the goal of increasing the available capacity between our burgeoning Pacific routes and the rest of the network.
     “I discovered right away that the aircraft were not a good fit for the route network they were tasked to serve.
     “Even worse, we learned the hard way that a mechanical delay or cancellation on a single freighter could cause a ripple of chaos throughout the entire system.
     “It was a bitter pill to swallow, but we ended up saving ourselves by scrapping our freighters!
     “The new generation of passenger aircraft now carry cargo payloads as large as our old DC10-Fs, and Cargo’s contributions are considered when United’s route decisions are made, so there’s no regret here about focusing solely on belly freight.”

High Finance

     The “Cost” reference on Mark’s business card comprises not just the contractual and financial relationships with United Cargo’s service handlers and trucking partners, but includes overseeing several operational enhancements and expansion projects in progress all around the system.
     Whether it’s enhancing the product offering for pharmaceuticals or perishables, boosting operational capabilities with investments in next-generation containers, or expanding warehouse space at UA’s Newark hub, Mark and his intrepid team evaluate RFP responses, audit purchases and administer capital requests. They also manage the carrier’s trucking network, handle ULD purchases and logistics, and process and settle all cargo-related claims.
     “Another current focus of the team is adapting our facilities plan to accelerate Cargo’s joint venture partnerships. Our MuoR (Move under one Roof) program, where we co-locate handling facilities with Lufthansa, has been successfully instituted in Munich with Frankfurt and additional locations planned to launch soon.”

The Art of The Group

     Mark smiled when asked how he keeps his multifaceted group motivated, pointing to a recent team-building activity when 20 members of Mark’s International Operations team created their own original artwork. The painting turned out to be an active interpretation of everyone’s unique view of the Chicago skyline.
     “What sparked the collaboration was that we had the time and freedom needed to bring our own creativity and expression to the piece.
     “Because the art exercise was so different from our daily activities, it unlocked feelings and viewpoints that were refreshing and even surprising to the participants and their teammates.
     “Later, as we stood back to view the masterpiece, different team members articulated their personal interpretation of what they saw. The upshot was, while looking at a piece of art you helped create, the work was also looking back at you.
     “Being a part of this effort guided by professional artists was not only rewarding and enjoyable, but boosted our team camaraderie and respect for each other’s talents,” Mark concluded.

The Best Surprise Is No Surprise

     Based on his role at UA, it’s no surprise that Mark Albrecht’s educational focus was on finance. (He holds a BS from Elmhurst College in Illinois and an MBA from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University.)
     What is interesting is how his background led to a career in air cargo.
     Mark started his professional life at age 20, working at First Federal Savings and Loan in Elgin, Illinois.
     After he became friendly with an S and L depositor from the United Airlines Credit Union, the connection led to Mark being hired by United: he joined the Credit Union’s Accounting Department on October 15, 1984.

The Flight Attendant Experience

     When he opted to go back to college for a further degree, he retrained to be a flight attendant as that role provided the schedule flexibility he needed to complete his education.
     Mark flew on DC-8s and 10s domestically, and he also worked on special assignments like opening flight attendant bases in Paris and London and awarding annual flight attendant vacations.
     It wasn’t long before he came down from the skies to the corporate side at United, where his math and organizational skills and onboard experience led him into flight attendant scheduling, then into flight network scheduling and ultimately into United Cargo.

You Got to Have Heart

     Today, Mark recognizes every job and experience he’s had as valuable, as he employs every life lesson learned in his diversified role.
     That includes his recent engagement to Laura, who, as Mark says, “completes me.”
     When asked what drives him personally, Mark reveals that “I wake up every day excited about what will happen next at United Cargo and how my team can make it happen.
     “The atmosphere at United and in Cargo is invigorating and electric. Cargo President Jan Krems encourages us all to work together, brainstorm, innovate and make decisions that implement new ideas or better ways to do what we’re already doing. This creates an atmosphere that is dynamic, challenging and very rewarding.”

Chuckles for September 9, 2018

EMO Trans Aspiring In Cologne

EMO Trans opens its Annual Global Business Meeting in Cologne, Germany today, Sunday September 9 with a broad scheduled menu of reports, panel discussions, and a trade show that continues through Tuesday September 11.
Hans Werner Bartsch     The fast-rising logistics specialist with more than 250 offices in 120 countries has raised local attention here as Cologne, confronted with severe drought this summer, offers fresh greetings to EMO Trans from Mayor Hans Werner Bartsch who is scheduled to appear as the event gets underway.
     The Marriott Hotel venue sits in the shadow of Kölner Dom, the Roman Catholic Cathedral that has served as a distinctive landmark for this city of Nordhein Westfalen since 1248.

Dear Hearts & Gentle People

     It’s well worth noting that Cologne is also hometown of EMO Trans Chairman Joachim H. Frigger.
     Mr. Frigger welcomed delegates upon their arrival from all over the world with a letter recalling his start up in the business 60 years ago.
     “Welcome to my hometown,” Jo Frigger said.
     “I am very proud to host this year’s global meeting together with our German colleagues.
     “We have invited the worldwide EMO Trans network as guests to discuss and develop plans for the future.
     “It was here in Cologne in 1958 where I began my apprenticeship 60 years ago at a company called Haniel.
     “But who could have predicted what this would lead to for me and others?
     “EMO Trans is in excellent shape under the present management.
     “Our company is one of the best in the service business, and that's how we must continue to perform.
     “As I have noted in the past, the success of the EMO Trans organization relies on everyone's dedication and good cooperation.

EMO Face To Face People

Organic Growth Continues

     “Our continued global growth, paid for by ourselves without outside financing demonstrates the solid foundation of the company.
     “We want to maintain our independence as a privately held global logistics organization,” Jo Frigger said.
     “This can only be guaranteed with continued strong leadership and a well planned structure for onward development.
     “We are counting on the next generation of dedicated managers to take on this responsibility while maintaining the achievements and philosophy of the founders,” Jo Frigger said.

Romans Hailed Ubier Cologne Was Born

More from Jo . . .
 "Cologne or Köln was founded in the year 50AD by the Romans with the German tribe Ubier.
 "The Romans liked the Ubier because they were a fairly low-key people who didn’t lurk in the woods and beat up legionnaires like other tribes.
 "As example, instead of heavy clubs, the Ubiers negotiated with food and drink, preferring to keep things peaceful.
 "That tradition continues here a couple of thousands years later.
 "People from Cologne would rather share the local brew “Kölsch” with you than start an argument."

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Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
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